10 of the best: French classics
◗ Baguette – It goes without saying, but you can never tire of this most français of French staples. When in France, don’t go a day without one…
◗ Crêpes – These thin Breton pancakes are as versatile as they are delicious. Grab a nutella crêpe if you’re in need of a sugar hit when you’re out and about.
◗ Bouillabaisse – The true test of how much you really love fish. Whatever is caught in Marseille’s harbour each morning ends up in this tomato-based stew.
◗ Onion soup – The nation’s favourite entrée, perfecting the balancing act between salty savoury and caramelised sweet, and perfectly topped with a crusty, cheesy crouton.
◗ Steak frites – Voted France’s national dish, no trip would be complete without it. Don’t risk disapproval from the waiters – dare to go rare, or if you’re bold enough, order a raw steak tartare.
◗ Escargots – While we’re on the subject of national delicacies, a plate of snails in a garlic butter sauce is about as quintessential as French food gets. They’re well worth a try.
◗ Confit de canard – this Gascony recipe slow cooks a duck leg in its own fat. Yes, it’s hugely indulgent but worth those extra calories.
◗ Salade Niçoise – A lighter option that’s ideal accompaniment to a warm evening beside the Med. The earthy, salty black olives and anchovies bring out the subtler flavours of boiled egg and green beans.
◗ Crême brûlée – You can’t go wrong with this gorgeously creamy, vanilla-sweet dessert. Tap through the caramelised top and let your spoon glide into the silky custard beneath.
◗ Croissant – Last but not least, the legendary butter croissant manages to mix utter simplicity with sublime artisanship.
5 French delicacies you’re possibly glad you’ve never heard of!
◗ Manouls – The lining of a lamb’s stomach, stewed in white wine with tomatoes and ham. A specialty of Lozère in Languedoc-Roussillon.
◗ Fromage-de-tête – Jellied pig’s head.
◗ Pieds-et-paquets – A stew of stuffed sheep’s feet and offal, originally from Marseille but now found all over south-eastern France.
◗ Pouteille – Another specialty stew from Lozère, which consists of pig’s trotters, lard, beef and potatoes.
◗ Grive – A small songbird, usually served in a pâté.